Monday, June 30, 2008

Paul Oles

I've seen broadcasting veterans treat newbies one of two ways-- with disdain, or with professionalism, courtesy, and encouragement.

Paul Oles belonged to that second group, and a generation of local broadcasters is better because of it.

Paul died Saturday at the age of 79. Simply put, he was a nice man.

Mr. Oles spent many years at WCDL radio in Carbondale, back when local radio meant something, back when radio stations cared about the communities they were licensed to serve. In 1977, it was part time work at WNEP. He moved over to television, full time, a few years later. Paul Oles had one of those booming voices, but it wasn't fake, and it had such a conversational tone.

I honestly do not remember the first time we met, but I do recall my first encounter with Paul at WNEP. I came over from a competing station. There was not one hint of resentment of condescension when it came to dealing with Paul. He was kind, and he was welcoming, and he was genuine.

My father often ran into Paul at a grocery store in Peckville, and Paul's kindness extended to my father.

My sympathy to Paul's family and friends.